Featured Restaurant: Brotherhood of Thieves
by Suzanne Daub
As far back as we can remember (and Yesterday’s Island goes back more than half a century), The Brotherhood of Thieves has been a local favorite. It first opened as a pub in 1972. Island residents and visitors have dined on burgers, fresh fish, curly fries, cheese plates, and beer in The Brotherhood spring, summer, and fall ever since, except for a pause during 2021, when we all feared this island landmark had closed for good.
Resurrected in 2022 by a new team, The Brotherhood of Thieves is now a fun mix of traditional and new. With four dining concepts on three levels, there’s something to please every taste. On the lower level is their 1840s Whaling Bar and Tavern, modeled very much like the classic Brotherhood we all knew and loved. Upstairs is the Cisco Surfers’ Kitchen and Bar, serving sushi, burgers, salads, nachos piled high, and more, with live music weekends. The Notch Whiskey Bar is tucked into the front of the second floor, with the upscale ambiance of a private club and a stellar selection of spirits. Their outside patio has a Cisco Brewers vibe with a “secret” bar and tables in a relaxing and pretty garden setting.
The Brotherhood bars have an international selection of beers—including, of course, Cisco favorites on draft—along with wines by the glass, half-bottle, and bottle (plus a few magnums), and more than a dozen specialty cocktails. Their Madaket Mule is refreshingly crisp and fizzy, perfect for summertime, and we loved their Whaleship Essex, with orange blossom honey and lemon drifting through Triple Eight’s Nor’easter Bourbon, which earned silver distinction in the 2023 International Wines & Spirits Competition.
When you dine at The Brotherhood of Thieves, come hungry: portions are generous, and you won’t want to skip any courses!
If you only choose one appetizer, make it the Brotherhood’s scrumptious Boom Boom Shrimp. The shrimp are coated in a breading that becomes deliciously crunchy while the shrimp is cooked to succulent perfection. These two-bite morsels are tossed in a sweet sriracha sauce that has the ideal balance of flavors. The heat is mild but it builds, so if you devour the entire portion, you’ll want a cold Whale’s Tale pale ale from their menu of Cisco brews on draft.
During the hot days of summer, a hearty salad hits the spot. The Brotherhood offers a number of appealing choices. The summery Lobster Avocado Salad is everything you want in a New England picnic: lobster, grilled corn, avocado, and mango, all tossed in a chipotle-lime dressing. Our favorite salads are the Super Crunch and the Buffalo Chicken Caesar. The former is proteinrich with chicken breast and quinoa, with its delicious crunch coming from carrots, almonds, and tart green apple, all in an orange-sesame vinaigrette. There are plenty of moist chicken tenders bathed in sweet-spicy mango-buffalo sauce in the Buffalo Chicken Caesar. The crisp romaine that makes up this salad is dressed in a lemony Caesar and topped with grilled croutons and lots of freshly grated pecorino.
The Brotherhood is famous for their juicy burgers and their hot meal-size sandwiches, not to mention their crisp curly fries (another favorite from way back!). But we didn’t want to pass up the appealing dinner entrées. Fish & Chips is a coastal classic, and the Brotherhood does it just right. An enormous, flaky and moist cod filet enveloped in an impossibly light yet crunchy beer batter coating is served over a pile of their hot, salty curly fries. Sides of coleslaw, lemon wedges, tartar sauce, and cocktail sauce complete the dish.
Grilled Swordfish Kebobs is another summery treat. Large chunks of moist and meaty swordfish threaded on wood skewers and grilled are served on a light salad of arugula, quinoa, artichokes, and grilled cauliflower. A pool of orange-red romesco sauce, as bright in flavor as it is in color, surrounds the entrée.
Our favorite main dish is the Brotherhood’s Chicken Milanese. Coated in a well-seasoned breading and panfried till crisply browned, the pounded chicken breast is succulent and fork-tender. It’s topped with a citrus aioli, blistered orange and red grape tomatoes, and a liberal dusting of pecorino romano. Nestled close is a salad of fresh greens lightly tossed in a lemony dressing.
If you’ve eaten too well (a real risk here), consider ending your meal with an Espresso Martini shaken with Triple Eight’s delectable vanilla vodka. But it would be a shame to miss their summery Strawberry Shortcake, with warm house-made biscuits, ripe, red berries, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream.
The Brotherhood’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae is another long-time favorite. Cooked to order and served warm in a cast iron skillet, the vanilla ice cream melts into molten pools of chocolate chips throughout the soft cookie.
If the thought of seven layers of rich, dark sponge divided by delectably creamy chocolate frosting helps you find room for dessert, then their Death By Chocolate is a sweet way to go. Still can’t find the room? Order it with extra forks and share!
Locals know the Brotherhood of Thieves is a rare find on Nantucket: fabulous food, luscious libations, friendly and accommodating staff, and prices that won’t break the bank. And they have so many menu choices, you’ll want to dine here again and again to taste every one!
The Brotherhood of Thieves
23 Broad Street • 774-325-5812 • BrotherhoodNantucket.com
serving continuously from 11:30 am; bar open till midnight
Different menus in the Brotherhood’s concepts & Kids’ Menu
Burgers & entrees range in price from $18.50 to $38
indoor & outdoor dining • handicap accessible • several bars